Google May Open Offline Stores In India To Sell Pixel Devices
Google launched the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL on the 4th of October. It subsequently went on sale in India and ever since the launch, the two devices have been embroiled in controversies regarding a lot of software and hardware issues. To improve its sales in the country and catch up with its competition, the tech giant is planning to open offline stores.
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The motive behind opening offline stores in India is more than just about increasing sales. The company wants to improve the brand awareness of its Pixel lineup as well. For years, Google has been known as a software company and its efforts to become a global hardware competitor won’t be fruitful unless it makes a dent in the Indian market since it is the second largest smartphone market in the world right now.
To increase the visibility of its Pixel phones, Google has opened pop-up stores in the past few weeks in malls like Promenade, Select Citywalk and Mall of India, among others. The report claims that the positive response to these pop-up stores is one of the reasons to open an offline store.
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Last year’s Pixel and Pixel XL, even though they received great reviews for their camera and software performance, didn’t perform all that well in India. At a starting price of Rs 61000, the Pixel 2 duo is already costlier than the Samsung Galaxy S8. Compared to the US$649 starting price of the Pixel 2, the price in India is inflated by almost US$300.
At the time of the India launch of the two new smartphones, the VP of Product Management at Google said that the team has learned a lot since the 2016 Pixel phones were launched in India:
We learnt quite a bit with the first Pixel in India and one of the things we’re doing is increasing our marketing investment, really to explain the product.
We’ve expanded the channel and from a go-to-market perspective, we’ll be much more present this year compared to last year.
The company conceded that one of the main drawbacks of the Pixel and Pixel XL of 2016 was its failure to capture the offline market. The Pixel 2 in India starts at a price of Rs 61000 for the 64GB variant and goes up to Rs 70000 for the 128GB variant. The bigger sibling, Pixel 2 XL costs Rs 73000 for the 64GB variant and Rs 81000 for the 128GB storage variant.